Assam to provide Covid widows one-time aid of Rs 2.5 lakh

Express News Service
GUWAHATI: The Assam government will pay one-time financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh each to women, who have lost their husbands to Covid, from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

Making the announcement on Thursday, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Covid-induced widows will also be entitled to the benefits of “Arunodoi” scheme and the monthly widow pension under “Indira Miri Universal Widow Pension Scheme”.

“The package will be of Rs 830 per month from Orunodoi, Rs 300 from widow pension and Rs 2.5 lakh as one-time assistance,” Sarma told journalists at a press conference on the occasion of completion of his government’s one month in office.

Last month, the state government had announced the “Chief Minister Sishu Seva Scheme” for children orphaned by the pandemic. Under it, they will receive a financial support of Rs 3,500, including Central government support of Rs 2,000, on a monthly basis.

Sarma on Thursday handed over the cheques of financial assistance to a few beneficiaries.

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An amount Rs 7,81,200 will be parked in the bank as fixed deposit (FD) in the name of each beneficiary. The monthly financial assistance, to be realised from the FD, will be given to the beneficiaries till they attain the age of 24 years. On the completion of 24 years, the amount parked as FD will be credited to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

The scheme was announced on May 29 on the occasion of completion of seven years of Narendra Modi government in power. Within 10 days of the announcement, the financial assistance was transferred to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

Sarma said the scheme would enable the beneficiaries to lead a life of dignity.

For children below 10 years and adolescent girls with no guardian, the state government will take steps to house them in one of the child care institutions and provide adequate funding for their upkeep, including educational expenditure.

The orphaned adolescent girls will be given accommodation in suitable institutions to ensure their sensitive care and proper protection.

Considering the marriage component of the scheme, the state government will extend one-time financial assistance. It will give one “tola” of gold under “Arundhati” scheme and Rs 50,000 to each girl. For skill development and training, laptops or tablets will be provided to school or college-going orphans for undergoing vocational training. All such students will